You’ve a shitty memory. Granted, it isn’t as shitty as mine, but it isn’t perfect. Did you know that every time you remember something you actually recreate the memory, relive it in a sense, and change it ever so slightly. It’s called coping and it’s science and I read it in an article. We'll assume some esteemed science journal. Yes, I do that on occasion, so there.
Now, I started keeping a journal when I went to Italy specifically because I know I have an atrocious memory. And I’m slightly annoyed by the entries that say “went to place X, it was cool, check out the pictures.” Thanks, Past Dale, for such an enlightening entry! Now if you happen to have a perfect memory… well, good for you. Move on to reason number two.
I would say conflict resolution because that’s where it really helps, but the point is that writing things down helps you really analyze them. That’s why I kept doing the journal even after I came back from Italy. I can’t tell you how many times I’d write about some fight I had with someone (read: girlfriend) and when I would start writing about what they were all up in arms about I would have an epiphany. Usually along the lines of, “OH! They were mad at me because I’m an asshole. Huh, completely missed that at the time.”
This has the double benefit of making you not really second guess yourself later. You already analyzed it; yea they are right, but you discovered you had plenty reasons not to care.
This is what prompted this post. I’ve been re-reading my journals from Italy (honestly the first time I’ve bothered) and damned if they aren't hilarious. I’m amazed at how much I have forgotten. I’m also amazed that I was such an idiot (surprise, surprise!). Sometimes I just want to go back in time and slap the hell out of Past Dale. “No, don’t go home with her. That’s a terrible idea!” It’s like watching a horror movie and knowing exactly what will happen when they open the door. Dramatic irony always makes me cringe.
You also might find out how much you have changed over time. Your opinions of people and places and even your ideas change. I’ve found my feelings toward people are only the final way I felt. I’ve entirely forgotten how those relationships grew over time.
I do recommend skipping the sappy bits about long lost loves.
Actually, on that note, you should burn all my journals after my death.
Nah, I’m just kidding. I’ll be dead, what do I care? Read some of them at the funeral and have yourselves a good laugh. I do apologize for all the horrible things I said about you. But to be fair, you had pissed me off.